Archive for September 5th, 2013

The Reno Bighorns, NBA D-League affiliate of the Sacramento Kings, have named Joel Abelson as the team’s new head coach, according to Bighorns General Manager and Kings Director of Player Personnel Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

Prior to joining the Bighorns, Abelson served as the head coach of the Sioux Falls Skyforce, guiding the team to a 10-win improvement from the previous season with a record of 25-25, just one game shy of a playoff berth.

Abelson’s experience includes four seasons as the Idaho Stampede’s associate head coach (2008-09 - 2011-12). He broke into the NBA D-League as director of basketball operations with the Tulsa 66ers in 2007-08 following a basketball operations internship with the Charlotte Bobcats.

The University of Michigan graduate was an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors summer league entry in July 2012 and also trained collegiate and professional players at the Bob Hill Basketball Camp (2009, 2010) and Impact Basketball (2008).

The Kings, Reno Bighorns and the NBA Development League announced in July a single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2013-14 NBA D-League season, making Sacramento the 14th NBA franchise to establish a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team.

This partnership, also referred to as a “hybrid affiliation,” is the seventh of its kind in the NBA D-League and allows the Kings to pay for and control the Bighorns’ basketball operations, while existing local ownership in Reno maintains primary responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations and community initiatives.

Former Rocket Royce White made headlines Wednesday when TMZ reported that he was being investigated for domestic violence.

On Thursday, White released a statement through his lawyer:

“Royce has seen today’s media reports that law enforcement in Texas is investigating claims of domestic violence by a terminated and disgruntled former employee of his charitable organization. Royce vehemently denies the allegations and is looking forward to a speedy and just resolution of these unfortunate and unfair claims. It is all too easy to make allegations, especially when directed at a person who is in the public eye. Royce hopes that the media will be equally attentive when these allegations ultimately are rejected.”

Reported by Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle (Blog)


The Golden State Warriors established a franchise record in season ticket base earlier this week, surpassing 14,000 full season tickets for the 2013-14 campaign, it was announced today. The Warriors, spurred by the addition of 3,250 new season tickets this summer, are currently the third NBA team to exceed the 14,000 season ticket plateau for the upcoming season.

Forward Harrison Barnes, who earned NBA All-Rookie First Team honors last season, elected to surprise the individual who purchased the two season tickets that enabled the club to reach the 14,000 milestone on Tuesday. Barnes placed a phone call on Wednesday afternoon informing the fan that he planned to pay for the season tickets as a way to say thank you for the support and helping the team reach the 14,000 base.

The Warriors ended last season with 38 consecutive sellouts, the most for the club since the 1995-96 season. The team registered the second-highest single-game attendance average in franchise history last season (19,374) and averaged over 18,000 per game for the eighth consecutive season, a feat matched by only six other NBA teams during this same period (including the Bulls, Jazz, Lakers, Mavericks, Knicks and Spurs). Overall, the Warriors ranked fifth in the NBA in average attendance last season.

Clippers sign forward Brandon Davies

Clippers sign forward Brandon Davies

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today that they have signed forward Brandon Davies.

“We really liked Brandon in Summer League,” Clippers Head Coach and Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations Doc Rivers said. “We like his ability to play multiple positions and he fits with our team. He understands team basketball and has been in here all summer working on his game.”

Davies, 22, was a member of the Clippers 2013 Summer League team in Las Vegas, averaging 5.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 15.8 minutes of play over five games. He was undrafted out of BYU in the 2013 NBA Draft.

The forward averaged 12.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 24.1 minutes over his four-year collegiate career for the Cougars. As a senior, he averaged 17.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.0 blocks in 36 games played (all starts). He was named to the All-West Coast Conference First Team as a junior and senior.

A star at Provo High School in Utah, Davies led his high school team to state titles his sophomore and junior seasons, plus a runner-up finish his senior year.

Bobcats sign forward James Southerland

Bobcats sign forward James Southerland

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed free agent forward James Southerland.

The 6-8 Southerland, an undrafted rookie from Syracuse University, posted career-best averages in scoring (13.3 ppg), rebounding (5.2 rpg) and three-point shooting (.398) as a senior in 2012-13. During his four-year career, he averaged 7.9 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting .449 from the field and .370 from three-point range in 112 games.

Southerland tied a Syracuse single-game school record with nine three-pointers as he scored a career-high 35 points at Arkansas on Nov. 30, 2012. Southerland was named to the 2013 Big East All-Tournament Team after setting a tournament record with 17 three-pointers. Additionally, he set a Big East Tournament record for most three-pointers in a game without a miss, going 6-6 on his way to a team-high 20 points against Pittsburgh on March 14, 2013.

This summer, Southerland played for the Philadelphia 76ers entry in the NBA Orlando Summer League as well as the Golden State Warriors entry in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Lakers sign guard Xavier Henry

Xavier Henry
Lakers sign guard Xavier Henry
Fighting to stay in the league

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent guard Xavier Henry, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Henry, a three-year NBA veteran, appeared in 50 games (2 starts) last season with the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) averaging 3.9 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.3 assists in 12.5 minutes.

An early entry candidate for the 2010 NBA Draft following his freshman season at Kansas, the 6-6 guard was originally selected by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round (12th overall pick) of the 2010 NBA Draft before being traded to New Orleans in January of 2012.

Henry has career averages of 4.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 133 games (18 starts).

Chris Mullin
Sacramento Kings hire Chris Mullin as advisor
Brings basketball expertise and a strong NY accent

The Sacramento Kings announced today the organization has added Chris Mullin as Advisor to the Chairman, according to Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé.

“Chris Mullin is an incredible addition to our organization,” said Ranadivé. “I have great respect for his accomplishments and understanding of the game. From day one, we have focused on making the Sacramento Kings a first-class franchise built for the 21st Century. Chris brings the experience, knowledge, and influence to help us achieve our ultimate goal—bringing a championship to the fans and city of Sacramento. As we prepare for the new season and a new era in Kings basketball, I’m really excited about the group of visionary leaders we’ve brought together.”

Mullin, 50, will assume a variety of basketball operations responsibilities, advising Ranadivé and General Manager Pete D’Alessandro regarding player transactions and apprising front office and coaching personnel of the team’s collegiate and professional scouting efforts.

“It isn’t everyday that a franchise has the opportunity to add an individual of Chris’ caliber and reputation,” said D’Alessandro. “His passion for the game, unflagging work ethic and will to win, ever-present characteristics which helped define him as one of the NBA’s premier players for nearly 20 years, will have a contagious effect on our entire organization,” said D’Alessandro.

“I couldn’t be more excited about joining the Kings and playing a part in making this team a winner again,” said Mullin. “I’m especially grateful for the unique opportunity to work in close proximity with a world-class ownership group led by Vivek Ranadivé and the talented group of individuals assembled in our front office.”

A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (class of 2011), Mullin averaged 18.2 ppg (.509 FG%, .384 3pt %, .865 FT%), 4.1 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.60 spg and 32.6 mpg in 986 career games with the Golden State Warriors (1985-86 – 1996-97 and 2000-01) and Indiana Pacers (1997-98 – 1999-00). He was named an NBA All-Star five times and notched All-NBA First Team honors after posting 25.6 ppg (.524 FG%, .366 3pt%, .833 FT%), 5.6 rpg, 3.6 apg and career-highs of 2.10 spg and 41.3 mpg in 1991-92. Later that same year, Mullin would win his second of two Olympic Gold Medals as a member of the “Dream Team,” finishing third on the roster in scoring (14.3 ppg) behind Charles Barkley and Karl Malone.

Prior to being selected seventh overall in the 1985 NBA Draft out of St. Johns, Mullin earned every All-American accolade in existence as a collegian, including an Olympic gold medal for Team USA at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. He concluded his career for the Red Storm by winning the 1985 John Wooden Award bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding college player. In 2011, Mullin was elected to the National Collegiate Hall of Fame.

Mullin remained close to the game following his playing career, serving as a special assistant in the Warriors front office before being named Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations in 2004. He would hold the title for five seasons, including one of the most memorable in franchise history as Golden State became only the third eighth-seeded team in league annals to upset a top seed when they defeated Dallas in the First Round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs.

Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns make their return to Flagstaff, Arizona for the first time since 2004 when they report for training camp at Northern Arizona University from September 30 through October 5. This year marks the 21st time the City of Flagstaff has hosted the team’s training camp. Phoenix first used Flagstaff as a training camp site in 1986, coincidentally the first training camp as a player for now Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek.

“I have great memories of training camps in Flagstaff from my time as a player with the Suns,” said Hornacek. “The Flagstaff community has always been very supportive and I’m looking forward to returning there to get camp started.”

“Northern Arizona University is thrilled for the opportunity to host the Phoenix Suns for their annual training camp,” said NAU Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Lisa Campos. “We have a history with the Suns and to bring the team back to Flagstaff and the NAU campus is something we are proud to do.”

The Suns’ week in Flagstaff will culminate with an open to the public scrimmage, starting at noon on Saturday, Oct. 5, at NAU’s J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome. The training camp workout schedule begins at the J.C. Rolle Activity Center on Tuesday, Oct. 1, and continues through the intrasquad scrimmage.

Phoenix opens the preseason schedule at home against Maccabi Bazan Haifa at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 7, at US Airways Center to tip-off a seven-game exhibition schedule in preparation for the club’s 46th NBA season.

The Idaho Stampede will hold exclusive player tryouts in advance of the team’s 2013-14 season, the 16th season in the team’s history.

The organization, under direction from the Portland Trail Blazers, the team’s single NBA affiliate, will host the tryouts in Boise on Sept. 21, 2013 at the Ada County Boys and Girls Club (610 E. 42nd Street, Boise, ID 83714) and in Portland on Sept. 28, 2013 at the Trail Blazers Practice Facility (7325 SW Childs Rd., Portland, OR 97224). Both tryouts will start with registration at 9 a.m. and end no later than 12 p.m.

These exclusive tryouts will offer players the opportunity to show their abilities in front of Stampede coaching and scouting staff, along with Trail Blazers personnel, with the chance of an invite to Stampede training camp.

Reported by the Oregonian

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